Inkster Falls Short of Catching Leaders

By Martha BrendleMay 31, 2001, 4:00 pm
Early in the day A.J. Eathorne and Cindy Figg-Currier set the benchmark by posting scores of 3-under-par 67. Juli Inkster took notice and did her best to match, if not surpass, that mark.
 
Inkster was the afternoon story at the U.S. Womens Open, but unfortunately for her, she finished at 2-under-par 68.
 
The 40-year-old, who holds one Open title to her name (1999), recorded an inspirational birdie on the 481-yard par-5 1st. Birdies on the 451-yard par-4 10th and the 200-yard par-3 13th left the Los Altos, Ca. resident tied for the lead with five holes to play.
 
Inkster held her place until the par-4 17th where she made bogey to fall one off the lead.
 
'Well, I played ' I thought I played very conservative today,' Inkster said. 'I didnt really feel that overly confident with my swing. Ive had my teacher with me the last few days and weve been working on some things.
 
The winner of 26 LPGA Tour titles has earned $477,692 in the 21 Womens Opens she has participated in and has missed only six cuts since 1978. She finished in the Top-3 two times, once after losing a playoff to Patty Sheehan in 1992; as well as recording two Top-5 finishes and three Top-10 finishes.
 
Inkster, decked out in RITZ Cracker logos, isnt sure why she plays so well in majors. I dont know, I just ' I like how tough the golf courses play. I think youve really got to use all the clubs in your bag with majors. So I dont know why, I think maybe I focus better or something.
 
It was a successful day for 13-year-old Morgan Pressel, anyway you look at it. The child prodigy did not finish dead last, as she had expected. Instead, after birdieing the last hole, Pressel finished with a 7-over-par 77 and ahead of nine other amateurs.
 
The day started on the right foot with a par on the first two holes. For Pressel, the beginning of the end came on the 134-yard par-3 3rd after an errant shot into the pine needles left her carding her first, and unfortunately not her last, bogey of the day. Pressel didnt have a spectacular day of golf from a statistical point of view but she did have fun.
 
I was nervous starting offyou would be surprised how far a 3-foot putt looks in the Open.
 
The Florida native showcased her spectacular short game and well-beyond-her-years demeanor in front of a healthy and supportive gallery.
 
I had a good time, Pressel said visibly fighting back tears after her round. I still have another day. If I play better Id be very, very happy.'
 
I thought 18 would never come, Pressel said holding a Ben & Jerrys Cookie Dough ice cream bar. The last shot was the best part. It felt good finishing with a birdie.
 
Karrie Webb finished at even-par 70. She made 14 pars, two birdies and two bogeys during the first round to finish in exactly the same position as her rival Annika Sorenstam.
 
Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Keever was the only amateur to break 70 in the first round. Keever, one of the 20 amateurs in the field, recorded a first-round score of 1-under-par 69. The Stanford sociology major will start the second day one stroke ahead of both Sorenstam and Webb.
 
Amateur Brenda Corrie Kuehn, 8-months pregnant with her doctor/husband on the bag, completed the first round at 9-over-par.
 
Kuehn suffered a cramp in her right foot on the 14th as well as a bout with Braxton-Hicks contractions.
 
I could feel it coming, but I was kind of too embarrassed to back out and start again. They come all the time. Its no big deal to me.
 
On the first tee Kuehn learned that her playing partner, Jennifer Greggain, was also pregnant. It was so nice to see somebody else pregnant.
 
Full-field scores from the U.S. Women's Open
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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm